Lovelies, I’m about to whisk you away on a trip to the spectacular Algarve region in Portugal for the wedding of Anna and Gokhan in October 2016. The lovely couple held their ceremony at Suites Alba Resort, a beautiful cliff-top location with stunning water views, followed by dinner celebrations outdoors amongst the trees at Conrad Algarve. Soak up these gorgeous images by Ana Parker Photography and the beautiful bride’s customised dress, designed by young Canadian label Truvelle and via East London boutique Heart Aflutter.
“I fell in love with the lace detailing in the back of one dress, and the soft dove grey waterfall skirt of another dress. Seeing as both dresses were by Truvelle, the assistant suggested I order a hybrid of the two. I was a tiny bit concerned, as I couldn’t picture exactly what the dress would look like, and worried that it wouldn’t look right being two-toned. In the end it was perfect and I love the fact that the soft grey gives it a little bit of difference.”
Photography by Ana Parker
“We wanted to keep things really simple so we didn’t have any bridesmaids or bridal party. My two sisters and two closest friends did get ready with me in the morning. My hair was done by Jim van Hek, who has a salon in the Algarve. He is the most calm, sweet and softly spoken man, and I rightly placed all my confidence in him and his team.”Ana Parker Photography, through searching hashtags of weddings in Algarve – and fell in love with her photography style.
“I was first searching the hashtag #algarvewedding to look for inspiration from other weddings in that region. There was a certain style of photo that kept appearing, which I thought was stunning. I clicked on her website and confirmed that this was definitely the photographer for us – the atmosphere and tone of her pictures was just breathtaking, and each was composed so artfully and beautifully, I could not resist.”
“Thankfully, by some stoke of luck, I think our wedding date happened to be one of the only dates she had available for that year! She was such a delight to communicate with, and then we had a ‘pre-wedding’ shoot when we had a planning trip to the venue a few weeks before the wedding.”
“Ana was just as lovely in person and her natural style put us both at ease right away. We couldn’t be happier with our pictures – they are stunning!”
“We had the most professional, incredible videographer team – JM Audiovisual Productions. When we met with Miguel a few weeks before, we knew we were in good hands and pretty much left everything to them. We haven’t seen the finished product yet, but if their previous work is anything to go by, I’m 100% sure it’s going to be amazing! We can’t wait to see it and re-live the day.”
“Our wedding planner was Patricia at Glamour Algarve Weddings – who was fabulous and her attention to detail meant that everything was super easy for us.”
“We could have as much direction as we wanted over the details, and the result was that every decoration and detail was even more beautiful and well put-together than we could have imagined or expected.”
“We wanted fairly understated, neutral, ‘soft’ tones and colours for the wedding – though we were so busy in the lead-up to the big day that we never even really thought about a colour ‘theme’! I was worried it was all going to look a bit mis-matched, but I think it turned out perfectly.”
Gokhan and Anna incorporated a ring-warming in their ceremony – and I adore the words of the celebrant; they encapsulate everything a marriage is all about.
“We tailored our vows with the help of our celebrant. We had a ‘ring-warming’ as part of our ceremony. Our rings were from Atasay Jewellery as we had family connections there – and were passed around the guests, each holding the rings in their hands and giving their wishes before passing the rings on to the next person. As this was happening, we joined hands and the celebrant read ‘These are the hands’.”
“We met on a skiing holiday in Chamonix, France. We were put in the same ski-school group and actually shook hands and introduced ourselves on the chairlift. Romance blossomed over the week and we stayed together for three years before becoming engaged on Christmas Day 2015.”
“The team at local florist Oura Flores did our flowers and decorations. We visited their showroom, talked about the colours of our outfits, and I gave the instruction of something with silvery tones, and muted, soft, pale whites and pinks.”
“I asked for my bouquet to be somewhere between ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ and they got it perfect.”
“Our first dance track was ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran. It is a little cheesy but it perfectly encapsulated how we wanted to grow old together – and didn’t require too much choreography.
We had an awesome band called The Switha’s Band. They were so incredible that we all continued dancing as they provided acoustic music and drumming during a short power outage! Everybody loved it. They also did the DJ’ing at the afterparty.”
All of the divine food at the dinner and reception was made by Conrad Algarve. And the couple’s cake payed homage to a local delicacy and is making me want to reach for (another) creme egg!
“We adored our cake! We had thought about a traditional wedding cake, but had a stroke of genius (I think, anyway), and asked whether they could make a cake out of my favourite dessert ever – Portuguese custard tarts (pasteis de nata). The pastry chefs at Conrad whipped it up beautifully, with a real cake tier on top for us to cut. We had a dessert course at dinner, then cut the cake near midnight and everyone feasted on custard tarts. It was fabulous.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Get a planner! Depending on where you are, they are really not that expensive and are worth their weight in gold. I’m sure we saved money thanks to their local connections and know-how. I cannot imagine having to worry about making sure I’d confirmed every arrangement with all the vendors – you should try to have the least amount of stress as possible! I’m so glad we had the marvellous Patricia to take care of those things for us – we could focus on what matters most.
Second tip – write your speeches well in advance! We were so busy in the lead-up to the wedding that we were still writing our combined bride-groom speech the night before the wedding, which was not ideal.”
Many many thanks to Ana for sharing these beautiful moments of the couple’s happy day – the shots of the picturesque Algarve region are incredible and I’ve just added Portugal to my ever-growing bucket list!
Are you thinking of a venue over the seas for your wedding? If the lure of an exotic European location is tempting you, be sure to view these other destination weddings from the LMD archives for even more inspiration.
Love Jo -xo-
- Photographer – Ana Parker Photography
- Videographer – JM Audiovisual Productions
- Ceremony – Suites Alba Resort
- Venue + Catering + Cake – Conrad Algarve, Portugal
- Wedding Planner – Patricia at Glamour Algarve Weddings
- Wedding Dress – Truvelle via Heart Aflutter
- Shoes – Shoes of Prey + Superga
- Hair Accessory – Via Etsy
- Groom – Hugo Boss
- Florist – Oura Flores
- Entertainment – The Switha's Band
- Favours – Cookies via T Bakes
- Rings – Atasay Jewellery
- Hair Stylist – Jim van Hek